For those who have read this blog for a while, you may know that I am a Swedish-American. I did not grow up speaking Swedish. Instead, I decided I wanted to learn more about my mother's country and started learning Swedish about 4 years ago. My Swedish teacher would visit me once a week in my office and we would talk Swedish; he'd give me assignments and I would do my best to learn the words, grammar, pronunciation, and beautiful lilt of this fascinating language. I would also get to talk to my very wise teacher, who had a great combination of humor, calm, and intelligence -- not only about teaching Swedish but about life as a whole.
One thing he learned early on about me was my interest in squash, so he went on the internet and got information about squash that was written in Swedish. That's a smart teacher! I found myself discussing the importance of proper court movement with Kjell, in Swedish, even though he had never played, nor would. But he pretended to be interested. And as he did he gently corrected my grammar.
Sadly, I just found out that Kjell (it's pronounced 'Shell'), who had a week or so ago gone to Sweden for a visit with his children, fell, and ultimately died from the fall.
It's a sad day. May he rest in peace.